Teaching Success: Tricia Ebarvia honored as one of 11 Heinemann Fellows

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By Betty Ben Dor, Managing Editor

Out of 130 applicants nationwide, AP Language and Composition and Honors World Literature teacher Tricia Ebarvia was selected to be one of 11 Heinemann Fellows.

“I was very excited (when I found out). I was in the hallway when I answered my phone, because although I don’t usually answer my phone, I just happened to be off; it was a free period,” Ebarvia said.

The Heinemann Fellowship is run by a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt called Heinemann, which is a publishing company based in N.H. that works to put out professional and educational resources for teachers across America.The second ever cohort of Heinemann Fellows will work from 2016-2018 to address an education-related issue. Each fellowship-recipient will work on an individual action research question.They will meet regularly to discuss their work and collaborate on ideas. Although Ebarvia has not decided on a project yet, she is excited to begin her research among other such educators nationwide.

“I am looking forward to meeting all of these great teachers from across the country. I’m looking forward to really examining my teaching and learning from educational and teacher leaders,” Ebarvia said. “Some of the people that I’ll get to meet are legendary teachers who have really contributed to the field, especially for English, so I’m really looking forward to learning from them.”

According to Ebarvia, the application process requires submitting three recommendations, answers to three essay questions, writing samples and a resume. In order to make sure the project does not violate any district policy, she also had to get approval from the school district, who she says was really supportive. The application was due in February and all of the fellowship recipients were notified by mid-April. The cohort will meet together for the first time June 22-24 in the Heinemann headquarters in Portsmouth, N.H. The educators will be developing their research questions during that time.

Ebarvia says that she hopes to bring what she learns to the students and faculty of Conestoga. In addition to the fellowship, she will be receiving $500 worth of professional development books every year that will help other teachers develop as educators.

“I’m hoping to bring back a lot of really great resources. I’m hoping to share anything that I learn with my colleagues and then come up with new ideas on how to be innovative in teaching,” Ebarvia said. “Ultimately, the impact needs to be for the students. Part of it is trying new things to see what can best serve and engage the students we have today.”

Betty Ben Dor can be reached at [email protected].